How do you recognise a spam or fraudulent email from a bank or telecoms provider in your inbox?
Often there are a few little things that are not quite right. The use of the corporate image may be slightly wrong such as use of the logo, corporate colours or the font for the text. There may be slightly odd wording or minor errors in the text or email footer. These are all clues to look more closely at the email.
The ability to recognise spam or fraudulent email highlights the importance of editing in setting a professional image.
People don’t notice when it’s right, but they notice when you get it wrong.
A great way to ensure consistency in your project is to set up a Style Sheet right at the beginning. A Style Sheet is a place to record general formatting and editing preferences such as dates and numbers as well as the specific spelling, capitalisation and hyphenation for commonly used words in the project. Depending on the project, your Style Sheet may contain people’s names, organisation names, or technical terms.
A Style Sheet is usually organised with a general section and then in alphabetical order. If it is typed up in Word, it can be easily updated. But even a handwritten Style Sheet is better than nothing. Keep your Style Sheet handy so you can easily refer to it as you write.
A Style Sheet is great for multi-author projects but is also helpful on long projects written over a longer period of time.
A Style Sheet is not the same as using Styles to format headings and text in Word, but both are ways to help ensure consistency in formatting your work and presenting a professional image.